The hip-hop landscape is always changing – new generations come in and so does new music and culture. Not only are artists celebrating their own culture, they’re celebrating others as well. Red Bull’s latest SoundClash installment recognized the musical styles of the Bay Area and Detroit, Michigan with the help of Larry June and Babyface Ray. Originating in Jamaica, sound clashes bring together talents across mainstream and local music to showcase their communities and heritage. For Larry June and Babyface Ray, these performances gave them a chance to honor not only their heritage but their opponents as well.
The West Coast has birthed generations of non-conforming rappers and Larry June is no different. Sticking to syrupy anthems and hyphy beats, the Bay Area native holds the styles of his peers close. While embracing his West Coast culture, he’s also bringing a fresh and organic approach to his music. From smoothies to passive income and investments, “health and wealth” is the blueprint for June’s style. With tracks like “Watering My Plants” to “Smoothies in 1991”, it’s hard to ignore his contribution to his hometown’s music. During his SoundClash performance, he brought out a handful of Bay Area natives including P-Lo, Goapele, Jay Worthy, and Da Boii to perform their tracks. Embracing your culture is more than just performing your own music, it’s also about showing love and creating opportunities for those around you. Good job Larry.
Detroit has birthed some of your favorite rappers, like Royce Da 5’9, Tee Grizzley, J Dilla, the list goes on. Babyface Ray has been around for some time, starting off as one part of the rap duo Team Eastside. Taking time to learn the rap game while also cultivating his own style, it’s hard to deny that he’s one of the hottest coming out of his city. There’s something about his calm and conversational delivery that resonates with Bay Area tracks, but the gritty content of his music is all Detroit. Like his peer Larry June, he also brought out a few natives during his SoundClash performance including, King Hendricks, Sam, 22nd Jim, and Lil Kayla.
When it comes to music, no two styles are the same. For Larry June and Babyface Ray, their SoundClash performance put a spotlight on two very dynamic backgrounds. Honoring their cultures while recognizing the other is true artist craftsmanship that we all can appreciate.